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  1. #1
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    Default 318 electrical issue

    My borthers 318 has an electrical issue. There was some smoke coming from battery area and it quit. A couple hot wires. We tested battery and it only showed 6V. Battery was old. We replaced battery and fixed up the wires. All seem ok for two days. He just called and said it was smoking again around battery and it quit. There seems to be a big short somewhere. They were driving it but not using the PTO for mowing.

    Last year we pulled the engine to fix the starter. We used care in installing the engine so the positive battery cable didn't touch frame. Near as we can tell it isn't loose or touching. Can't see well enough as it travels to battery.

    What other areas could be causing this issue? I see a black box behind battery. Do these have alternator or generator. What about a regulator.

    It does start. He says it seems to be ok till it gets hot. I said not to use it till we solve this. I did ask him to start it and get a voltage reading off the battery.

    Craig

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 318 electrical issue

    Still having this issue. Replaced the battery. Looked for bare wires. It runs good for awhile. I test DC output at regulator. It is just over 13V. AC output from stator is about 15V at idle up into the 20s as RPMs increase. Ran it for 20 minutes and checked voltage and wires for heat. All was fine. Drove it around a bit more and tested and looked. All ok. Mother-in-law used it yesterday. After running it a bit without PTO it started to smoke in battery area. She shut it off. Battery cable terminal on the NEG side was melted off.

    I pulled the IGN switch connector and it looked ok. Not sure about he switch itself. Fuses have never blown. Not sure what to check next.

    Craig

  3. #3
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Default Re: 318 electrical issue

    Quote Originally Posted by cef2lion View Post
    Mother-in-law used it yesterday.
    There's your problem! Although you haven't said so, I gather that you've run with the PTO on and all is well then. In both postings, you've mentioned that the PTO was off. Let's clarify this as it could lead to the PTO circuit or it might be useless info. PTO wiring is usually light and would tend to show signs of over heating.

    In cases like this where you've done past electrical work with the starter, it's best to look back at that work as the first thing to check out for problems. I'd go back and do a total check of every wire. Heavy starter circuit wiring does not use fuses, but rather uses a lighter fuseable link.

    I don't think the alternator is bad, but don't dismiss it either. It's most unusual to melt things on the negative terminal. Typically, the positive terminal is going to show signs of a heavy current draw. If a heavier wire shows melting, there should be a path to other components that will show signs of over current too.

    It would be nice if we had a diagram to use for troubleshooting. I assume that you've cleaned both battery terminals and the ground cable to the engine and/or frame.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 318 electrical issue

    The next plan is to pull inspect and replace the NEG and POS battery cables. The thought being there has to be a major short to ground to cause the NEG battery battery terminal to melt.

    THe POS battery cable takes a route down under along the frame to the starter. It has the Deere starter enhancement kit on it as well. It provides more power to the starter solenoid then the way it was from the factory. It was a relay placed down by the starter that eliminated power loss on the long run down from the the IGN switch.

    I do have a diagram for the wiring harness off the JD parts site. I have a good idea on the wiring for the 318 now.

    I pulled the starter and had it rebuilt last summer. I was very careful installing the engine and routing the POS battery cable as I saw a possible issue with it and the frame. It ran good up to fall and was put away. Very hard to get at the battery cable were it attaches to the starter. When it did lose power it corrected itself once when they got back on it. I think it shifted the bare wire where ever it is. My guess its the POS battery cable when you lose sight with it under the frame.

    Craig

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 318 electrical issue

    Issue resolved. Battery cable at starter worked itself straight down. When axle pivoted it came up and contacted cable. Adjusted cable an tightened terminal nut back down.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Default Re: 318 electrical issue

    Quote Originally Posted by cef2lion View Post
    It has the Deere starter enhancement kit on it as well. It provides more power to the starter solenoid then the way it was from the factory. It was a relay placed down by the starter that eliminated power loss on the long run down from the the IGN switch.
    Mystery solved, very good! The early 318s used a Ford type relay in the starter circuit. Then they did away with it. They must have found out that the second generation idea didn't work too well, so they came out with the kit. I had never heard of the kit, but I took it upon myself to rewire my old 318 with a Ford relay when I noticed the problem.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

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